Releasing CO2 into the atmosphere is a bad idea, no matter what you think about the causes of global climate change. Even if you don’t agree that the increase in average temperatures around the world is caused solely by man, the science suggests that adding more is a bad idea, if only for the impact it has on the world’s oceans and ignoring any of the larger issues related to climate change.
The most CO2 intensive power generation also relies on fossil fuels. Oil, coal and natural gas are all different versions of what is essentially ancient solar fuel, condensed into chemical form and stored underground. No matter how large the remaining reserves are, and there’s a huge amount of argument over point where fossil fuel resources peak, fossil fuels will eventually run out. Though the exact time frame is uncertain, weaning ourselves of our dependency on a single fuel source seems, at the very least, prudent.
This is where green and renewable energy comes in. Green energy isn’t a single technology that will replace oil in one fell swoop. Instead, it’s a package of different energy sources that will shift the reliance on one source (finite fossil fuels) into a variety of different sources. The most promising sources for cleaner, more long term energy solutions, include a grab bag of technologies like solar, geothermal, tidal and wind power, as well as less obvious sources like modern nuclear power and more hypothetical sources like fusion.
However, changing the source of the power isn’t the only solution.